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Blasts near hospital in Syria’s Homs city kill 16: monitor

BEIRUT Twin explosions in a government-controlled neighborhood of Syria’s Homs city killed at least 16 individuals and wounded scores a lot more on Saturday, a group monitoring the war said.

The blasts come days right after the government extended its handle of western city with the implementation of a truce deal in Waer, the last insurgent-held region of Homs. Some fighters and civilians have left Waer, and help was permitted in.

Waer is located on the western side of the city’s outskirts.

A car bomb detonated close to a hospital in the mostly Alawite neighborhood of al-Zahra in the east of Homs city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group stated.

The second huge blast, originally suspected to have been a bomb, appeared to have come from an exploding gas canister and wounded individuals who had come to tend to victims of the very first explosion in the densely-populated neighborhood, state media stated.

State tv had earlier described the attack as “two huge terrorist explosions”. News agency SANA said the automobile bomb had been packed with 150 kg of explosives. It published a photo of two guys carrying a woman away from burning wreckage.

Footage on state television showed a chaotic scene with black clouds of smoke rising above twisted metal debris. People stumbled more than the rubble as they attempted to ferry men and women away from the website.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Afghan forces end siege near Spanish embassy in Kabul: official

KABUL Afghan security forces have killed all the insurgents involved in the attack on a guest property near the Spanish embassy in Kabul, Interior Minister spokesman Sediq Sediqqi mentioned on Thursday.

A Spanish safety officer was killed in the attack, in a heavily protected portion of Kabul close to numerous embassies and government buildings. At least seven folks were treated in a nearby hospital run by Italian aid group Emergency, primarily for minor injuries.

Attackers blew up a vehicle bomb late on Friday afternoon just before at least 3 gunmen entered a compound and battled security forces for hours, with gunfire and explosions heard intermittently until late into the evening and early morning.

In a message posted to his Twitter account, Sediqqi stated all of the attackers had been killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, just days following President Ashraf Ghani returned from a regional peace conference in Pakistan, exactly where he sought help to revive peace talks that stalled this year.

It followed a separate Taliban attack on the airport complicated in the southern city of Kandahar, in which at least 50 civilians and security forces personnel were killed.

(Reporting by James Mackenzie Editing by Robert Birsel)

Agen Sabung Ayam

European shares hover near 2-month lows as energy stocks fall

* FTSEurofirst 300 down around three pct this week

* Weak oil prices place stress on energy shares

* Bearish broker comments hit Dialog shares

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Dec 11 European shares fell on Friday as weak commodity rates put stress on markets prior to a extensively anticipated rise in U.S. interest prices subsequent week.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell .five percent to hover near two-month lows, although the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also declined by a comparable amount.

The FTSEurofirst is down by practically three % so far this week and also down 6 percent since the start off of December, soon after the European Central Bank disappointed some investors with only restricted new economic stimulus measures this month.

Weak commodity rates have also weighed on markets this month.

The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index fell 1.1 %, with crude oil costs remaining at levels not noticed since early 2009 as output in the Middle East continued to rise in spite of an already massive worldwide glut.

“These growing fears over elements such as an excessive oversupply in the markets and the visible reduction in demand for oil have regularly haunted investor sentiment, consequently affecting any remaining attraction towards oil,” mentioned FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

French advertising group Publicis underperformed, falling .six percent following losing a U.S. marketing account with L’Oreal to rival WPP, whose shares rose .9 %.

Shares in companies exposed to South Africa, such as British financial groups Old Mutual and Investec, also dropped as South African economic stocks slumped in the wake of the sacking of the country’s finance minister.

Dialog Semiconductor’s shares also fell by about 10 %, with traders citing adverse comments on the outlook for the company from Bankhaus Lampe.

In spite of the pullback on markets this month, the FTSEurofirst 300 index remains up by around four percent since the start of 2015, helped in portion by the ECB’s policies which have supported a recovery in the euro zone economy.

Today’s European study round-up

(Editing by Toby Chopra)

Turkish soldiers instruction Iraqi troops near Mosul: sources

ISTANBUL/ANKARA A number of hundred Turkish soldiers have been deployed to give instruction for Iraqi troops in an area close to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which is beneath Islamic State control, a Turkish security source told Reuters on Friday.

Islamic State militants overran Mosul, a city of more than one million men and women, in June 2014, but a much anticipated counter-offensive by Iraqi forces has been repeatedly postponed because they are involved in fighting elsewhere.

“Turkish soldiers have reached the Mosul Bashiqa region. They are there as element of routine education workout routines. One battalion has crossed into the area,” the source said, declining to say precisely how many soldiers had been deployed.

He said troops had already been in Iraqi Kurdistan and had moved to Mosul accompanied by armored autos, in a move which coalition countries targeting Islamic State were aware of.

Video released on the site of Turkey’s pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper showed flatbed trucks carrying armored automobiles along a road at evening, describing them as a convoy accompanying the Turkish troops to Bashiqa.

A statement from the Iraqi prime minister’s media workplace confirmed that Turkish troops numbering “about one armed battalion with a quantity of tanks and cannons” had entered its territory close to Mosul with no request or permission from Baghdad authorities. It referred to as on the forces to leave right away.

In a separate statement flashed on state Tv, the Iraqi foreign ministry known as the Turkish activity “an incursion” and rejected any military operation that was not coordinated with the federal government.

A senior Kurdish military officer based on the Bashiqa front line, north of Mosul, said further Turkish trainers had arrived at a camp in the region overnight on Thursday escorted by a Turkish protection force.

He said he was not aware of the size of the force and refused to speculate.

The camp is employed by a force known as Hashid Watani (national mobilization), which is created up of primarily Sunni Arab former Iraqi police and volunteers from Mosul.

It was formed by former governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, who is close to Turkey. There was currently a modest number of Turkish trainers there before this most current deployment

“Our soldiers are currently in Iraq. A battalion of soldiers has gone there. Instruction was currently becoming offered in that region for the final two to 3 years. This is a portion of that education,” 1 senior Turkish official stated.

In Washington, two U.S. defense officials mentioned on Friday that the United States was aware of Turkey’s deployment of hundreds of Turkish soldiers to northern Iraq but that the move is not component of the U.S.-led coalition’s activities.


An additional senior Turkish official stated the soldiers in the area had been there to train Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

Turkey has close relations with the Kurdish autonomous zone of northern Iraq, although it views Syrian Kurdish groups across the border as hostile to its interests.

“This is component of the fight against Daesh (Islamic State),” he said, adding that there were around 20 armored vehicles accompanying them as protection.

Islamic State occupies swathes of Iraq and Syria, profiting from disunity among groups opposing it.

On Tuesday, the United States mentioned it was deploying a new force of special operations troops to Iraq to conduct raids against Islamic State there and in neighboring Syria, ratcheting up its campaign against the group.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office has said it welcomed foreign assistance but Iraq’s government would need to have to approve any deployment of unique operations forces anywhere in Iraq.

Abadi reiterated that foreign ground combat troops have been not necessary in Iraq. Potent Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim armed groups have pledged to fight any deployment of U.S. forces to the country. It was unclear how they viewed the presence of Turkish soldiers.

(Further reporting by Isabel Coles in Erbil, Stephen Kalin in Baghdad, Ahmed Tolba in Cairo and Phil Stewart in Washington Writing by Daren Butler Editing by Ralph Boulton and James Dalgleish)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Hanergy lender Bank of Jinzhou to value HK IPO near bottom-IFR

HONG KONG Nov 30 Bank of Jinzhou Co Ltd’s initial public offering is set to raise $ 794 million, IFR reported on Monday, with the deal pricing close to the bottom of expectations as investors shunned the lender even after it halved its exposure to the parent of troubled solar gear maker Hanergy Thin Film Energy Group Ltd.

The bank intends to sell 1.two billion new shares and a group of 11 shareholders another 120 million current shares at HK$ four.66 each, added IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, citing sources familiar with the deal. The price is equivalent to a 1st half 2015 cost-to-book ratio of 1.01 instances, IFR said.

The IPO had been marketed in an indicative range of HK$ four.64 to HK$ five.54.

Bank of Jinzhou’s exposure to Hanergy came through investments in debt instruments and securities classified as receivables that totaled 9.46 billion yuan ($ 1.5 billion) at the finish of June, according to its IPO filing. But in August it slashed it by 50 percent to 4.69 billion yuan by means of a number of diverse transactions. ($ 1 = 6.3981 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Elzio Barreto, editing by Louise Heavens)

Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Putin warns of ‘serious consequences’

ANKARA/MOSCOW Turkey shot down a Russian warplane close to the Syrian border on Tuesday, saying the jet had violated its air space, in 1 of the most significant publicly acknowledged clashes amongst a NATO member nation and Russia for half a century.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the plane had been attacked when it was 1 km (.62 mile) inside Syria and warned of “serious consequences” for what he termed a stab in the back administered by “the accomplices of terrorists”.

“We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed these days,” Putin stated, as Russian and Turkish shares fell on fears of an escalation amongst the former Cold War enemies.

In a letter to the U.N. Safety Council, Turkey stated it had shot down the jet whilst in Turkish air space. Along with a second plane, the aircraft had flown a lot more than a mile into Turkey for 17 seconds, regardless of being warned 10 times in five minutes whilst approaching to modify path, the letter mentioned.

“No one need to doubt that we created our ideal efforts to stay away from this newest incident. But everybody must respect the proper of Turkey to defend its borders,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan mentioned in a speech in Ankara.

In condemnation of Russian air strikes in Syria, for the duration of which Turkish air space has been violated several instances in current weeks, Erdogan said that only Turkey’s “cool-headedness” had prevented worse incidents in the past.

Every single country summoned a diplomatic representative of the other. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov canceled a pay a visit to to Turkey due on Wednesday and the defense ministry stated it was preparing measures to respond to such incidents.

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande, meeting in Washington, urged against an escalation, while NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg stated the military alliance stood in solidarity with Turkey.

Footage from private Turkish broadcaster Haberturk Television showed the warplane going down in flames, a lengthy plume of smoke trailing behind it as it crashed in a wooded portion of an location the Tv mentioned was recognized by Turks as “Turkmen Mountain”.

Separate footage from Turkey’s Anadolu Agency showed two pilots parachuting out of the jet ahead of it crashed.

A deputy commander of rebel Turkmen forces in Syria mentioned his guys shot both pilots dead as they came down. The Russian military confirmed one particular pilot had been shot dead from the ground and yet another soldier died in the course of a rescue operation.

A senior Turkish official said at least 1 of the pilots could nevertheless be alive. “It is not a reality but a possibility. We’re trying to confirm the data and taking all essential steps to facilitate their return,” the official mentioned.

A video sent to Reuters earlier appeared to show one of the pilots immobile and badly wounded on the ground.


Russia’s defense ministry mentioned one of its Su-24 fighter jets had been downed in Syria and that “for the whole duration of the flight, the aircraft was exclusively over Syrian territory”, a suggestion Turkey denied.

“The information we have is extremely clear. There were two planes approaching our border, we warned them as they had been getting too close,” yet another senior Turkish official told Reuters. “Our findings show clearly that Turkish air space was violated a number of instances. And they violated it knowingly.”

A U.S. military spokesman said it was an situation between the Turkish and Russian governments and that U.S.-led coalition operations in Syria and Iraq were continuing “as planned”.

Moscow’s choice to launch separate air strikes in Syria signifies Russian and NATO planes have been flying combat missions in the exact same air space for the initial time given that Globe War Two, targeting a variety of insurgent groups close to Turkish borders.

Russia’s military involvement in Syria has brought losses, like the bombing by militants of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt. But there is no sign but that public opinion is turning against the operation in Syria and the Kremlin said it would continue.

Rather Moscow, helped by state-controlled television, has utilized these reverses to rally public opinion, portraying the campaign as a moral crusade that Russia have to comprehensive, regardless of indifference or obstruction from elsewhere.

A U.S. official said U.S. forces had been not involved in the downing of the Russian jet, which was the first time a Russian or Soviet military aircraft has been publicly acknowledged to have been shot down by a NATO member given that the 1950s.

The incident appeared to scupper hopes of a rapprochement in between Russia and the West in the wake of the Islamic State attacks in Paris, which had led to calls for a united front against the jihadist group in Syria.

Russia’s main stock index fell a lot more than two percent, although Turkish stocks fell far more than 4 %. Both the rouble and lira currencies have been weaker.

Lavrov advised Russians not to check out Turkey and one particular of Russia’s biggest tour operators to the nation mentioned it would temporarily suspend sales of trips.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group stated the warplane crashed in a mountainous location in the northern countryside of Latakia province, exactly where there had been aerial bombardment earlier and where pro-government forces have been battling insurgents on the ground.

“A Russian pilot,” a voice is heard saying in the video sent to Reuters as guys collect around the man on the ground. “God is fantastic,” is also heard.

The rebel group that sent the video operates in the northwestern region of Syria, where groups such as the Free Syrian Army are active but Islamic State, which has beheaded captives in the previous, has no recognized presence.

A deputy commander of a Turkmen brigade told reporters on a trip organized by Turkish authorities that his forces had shot both pilots dead as they descended.

“Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air,” Alpaslan Celik said close to the Syrian village of Yamadi, holding what he stated was a piece of a pilot’s parachute.

In a additional sign of a developing fallout over Syria, Syrian rebel fighters who have received U.S. arms mentioned they fired at a Russian helicopter, forcing it to land in territory held by Moscow’s Syrian government allies.

Turkey known as this week for a U.N. Safety Council meeting to go over attacks on Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent, and last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest against the bombing of their villages.

About 1,700 folks have fled the mountainous area due to fighting in the final three days, a Turkish official said on Monday. Russian jets have bombed the location in help of ground operations by Syrian government forces.

(Extra reporting by Mehmet Emin Caliskan in Yamadi, Syria Humeyra Pamuk, Daren Butler, Melih Aslan and Asli Kandemir in Istanbul, Orhan Coskun in Ankara Maria Kiselyova and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow Tom Perry and Sylvia Westall in Beirut Guy Faulconbridge in London Michelle Nichols in New York, Robin Emmott in Brussels, Roberta Rampton in Washington Writing by Nick Tattersall and David Dolan Editing by Andrew Heavens, Philippa Fletcher and David Stamp)

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